An Alaskan Christmas Eve Story – Part 1

Alaskan mountains

Hannah walked slowly back to her car, shuffling her feet as though walking through fallen leaves. But there were no leaves, it was Christmas Eve and Autumn had come and gone. In Alaska the Falls were short and the winters came early. They had several snowstorms blow in this year, but the weather would warm up and the snow wouldn’t last. Just like everything else in her life. Nothing lasted.

“Why hurry”, Hannah thought, “What’s the purpose?” She had no pressing engagement and no one was waiting for her to come home. Hannah unlocked her car and slid behind the wheel. She could still hear the words of the pastor ringing in her ears.

“God takes the hard things in our lives and turns them to good. He loves us and provides what we truly need throughout our lives.”

Hannah huffed under her breath, God didn’t provide her needs, He let her parents die in a car accident two years ago. She was only eighteen years old and her sister was fourteen at the time. Oh, why had she even gone to church tonight? She went because it meant so much to her sister and Aunt. They had asked her to join them for dinner too, but she declined, she couldn’t pretend to be happy and jolly tonight. She was depressed, and everything seemed overwhelming, even a dinner with family.

She started her car and backed out of her parking place at church. A tear ran down her face as she thought about how much she missed her parents. “Why, oh why, did they have to die? It wasn’t fair! It wasn’t right!” Everything changed that day.

Hannah had graduated from high school and was preparing to go to college in the fall. She remembered, she barely saw her parents that summer, she had been so busy with friends. Maybe too busy. She didn’t want to think about some of the stupid things she did that summer or the hurtful things she had said to her parents. She had been heading down a different path. Parties, friends and a new boyfriend, seemed so much more important than spending time with family. Of course, that was all history now. No college for her, no friends, no boyfriend, no life.

Her mother’s sister, Bobby, had flown in from Anchorage to help with the funeral and legal details. They had sold their home and all their belongings, and all they had to show for it was 40,000 dollars. It wasn’t enough, it wasn’t near enough! Hannah and her sister Emily had then moved to Alaska to live with their Aunt Bobby.

The moon was bright, and the temperature was holding in the low thirties, fairly warm for Anchorage. So, Hannah decided to drive to the nature park that was just outside of Eagle River, a suburb of Anchorage and go for a walk.  She wasn’t ready to go home to her little studio apartment and stare at the four walls just yet.

As she left the city it began to snow. How beautiful it was, as large snowflakes drifted down to earth, quickly covering the ground and trees, and turning the earth into a winter wonderland.

The road was deserted as she made her way up the mountain and it was getting a little slippery with the new snow, but Hannah didn’t slow down, she had been up this road many times before.

Maybe it was her over confidence as she sped up the hill that caused her car to spin out of control? She clung to the steering wheel with a death grip until the car came to a crashing halt, as it slammed against a tree, throwing her head against the driver’s side window with a horrible thump. Blood slowly seeped from a gash in her head, but Hannah didn’t feel a thing, she was out cold.

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